Chilimjusht festival in valleys of Kalash kicks off

peshawar   –   The foreign tourists continued to turn up in large numbers to celebrate the Chilimjusht festival, which kicked off on Saturday in all three valleys of Kalash and would continue till May 17.

The Chilimjusht as Chilim Joshi festival kicks off simultaneously at the scenic Bamburet, Birir and Rambur valleys in Lower Chitral. The festival is a spring festival that is held every year in Kalash valleys.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Culture and Tourism Authority (KPCTA) under the aegis of Tourism Department and the district administration of Chitral have made all arrangements for the event to facilitate tourists.

The festival kicks off with ‘Milk Day’ in which Kalash people offer milk that had been saved for 10 days prior to the occasion.

The festival is the most important event of the Kalash people as it signifies the end of chilling cold in the mountainous region and the people celebrate the arrival of spring and summer seasons.

The Kalash people make arrangements for taking their herds for the summer pastures. Small kids wear new clothes and they are baptized. The ceremony of baptism of kids is called Pich Injek while a young man sprinkle milk on the newborns and their mothers.

The people celebrate the festival while dancing to the traditional music and drum beats. They thank God Goshidai as they believe it protects their herds during spring and summer seasons. Young girls and boys sing and dance in groups in the community halls. Houses are decorated and the Kalash people wear new clothes that are specifically prepared for the occasion.

Main feature of the festival is the selection of life partners for unmarried boys and girls. Situated about 45 kilometres away from Chitral town, the Kalash people attract the world for their unique culture and religion.

They are the major attraction for tourists in the region despite their dwindling population. Though the Kalash people celebrate various festivals, Chilimjusht is the most popular among all. Thousands of tourists throng the valleys every year to enjoy the event.

Many foreign tourists and their families have already arrived in Chitral to enjoy Chilimjusht. They would stay for several days to enjoy the local culture, traditions, tourist attractions and festivals in the scenic valleys of the district.

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